Virginia provided Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs to 52 registered sex offenders under Medicaid last year, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Gov. Mark R. Warner yesterday signed an emergency regulation stopping the benefit for those offenders. Warner ordered a review aimed at a solution to the problem that could conceivably stop Medicaid from providing such drugs to all recipients. Federal officials told all 50 states on Monday to stop offering Viagra and other impotence-fighting drugs to sex offenders.
Florida said Medicaid paid $93,000 to give Viagra to 218 sex offenders in the past four years. The news prompted outraged calls from members of Congress to end federal payments altogether for erectile dysfunction drugs. A Virginia official said that even though the 52 are on a public sex-offender registry, he could not reveal the names because they are also Medicaid recipients and their names must be kept confidential.